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Periodic Contributor

When to apply for Medicare benefits at age 66+ with employer provided health plan

I am 66 soon to be 67. My wife just turned 67 and today she applied for SS benefits.  We are still working full time but both plan to cut back to 40% employment next summer.  I have an employer health plan that I will keep for another year until I cut back to 40%. My plan is to apply for Medicare next spring so that it will be available when my employer health plan ends mid summer.


Can or should my wife ( and I) sign up for Medicare now while I still have my employer plan?



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Honored Social Butterfly

Actually you should have asked this question when each of you were turning 65 since that is  Medicare 's eligibility age.  You might be OK as long as your employer coverage is considered CREDIBLE (Part B) by Medicare if not, there may be some premium penalties.  Your employer should know and have the documentation for this which you will have to submit to Medicare to get coverage for Part B when you are ready to sign up for them.


Medicare Part A is usually premium free if you & your employer have paid in payroll deductions through a substantial # of working years.  So each of you should just go ahead and sign up for at least Part A.


For the Part B -  you can wait if you do have credible coverage with the employer plan.  But make sure that you sign up for it as soon as your employer plan ends if not, you get a hefty penalty.

Here are a few links to tell you how it works: - Signing Up for Medicare - Part A & Part B Sign-Up Periods - Should I get Part A & Part B - Sign Up - I have employer coverage FAQ - How Medicare works with other insurance 


Hope this helps with your individual decisions.  Welcome To Retirement (soon).


It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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